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Author Topic: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back  (Read 1049 times)  

Offline Emilia Winters

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KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« on: November 18, 2017, 01:42:03 PM »
I write Sci-Fi Romance under a pen name that has been pretty successful.  I recently released the 4th book in the series and was going to run a promo for Book 1.  I changed the pricing a few days ago, but noticed yesterday that with the price change also came a category change from Science Fiction Romance to Erotica.

When this happened, I noticed a significant decrease in sales for my book, despite the price drop, which originally alerted me to the fact that something was wrong.  When I discovered the new categories, I wrote into KDP requesting a change, but they just wrote back and said that since my book contains sexual content, they wouldn't change it back.  Well DUH.  Romance usually has sexual content.  My books are written to market for SFR.  The rest of the series is still in the correct category, but the first book, my loss leader, is not.

I wrote a long email back to KDP, but I'm wondering what else I can do for a category change if they deny my request a second time.  I have a huge promo coming up and worried that this will effect it.  Has anyone had this problem before?


Offline dianapersaud

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2017, 01:49:59 PM »
Did you have any keywords that would suggest erotica?

The last time they did this it was a keyword sweep and then they moved entire catalogs. How are the rest of your books categorized? Have they been shunted into erotica too?

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Offline Emilia Winters

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2017, 01:57:09 PM »
No, I have all the science fiction categories, then romance, fated mates, etc.  Nothing that would suggest erotica.  The other books in the series haven't been put in erotica yet and are still in Science Fiction Romance.

Offline Monique

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2017, 02:10:16 PM »
Fated mates sounds like erom to me.

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Offline dianapersaud

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2017, 02:12:11 PM »
Fated mates sounds like erom to me.

But erom isn't erotica. My PNRs are all in romance. I have one that Amazon shoved into erotica because of a naughty keyword when they did the last sweep 2 years ago.

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Offline Monique

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2017, 02:14:21 PM »
Isn't erom a sub-category of erotica and not romance?

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2017, 02:32:24 PM »
As a reader of erom, no. Erotica > romance is not the same as Romance > erotic in the same way Science fiction > romantic isn't the same as Romance > science fiction.

Offline Emilia Winters

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2017, 02:41:10 PM »
Fated mates is a huge trope in both PNR and SFR, so it's a popular keyword for those categories.  Personally, I think there's a huge difference between erotica and erom/romance.  My book is being classified as Erotica > Science Fiction, instead of its original category of Romance > Science Fiction.  Even though my book is currently #1 in the Erotica > Science Fiction category, I've seen a big drop in sales.  All my other books in my SFR series are all on the top 100 chart for Romance > Science Fiction.

It's weird because I use the same keywords for all the books in the series, yet the first book was the only one pushed.  Now, I'm paranoid that if I change anything in the book details, then KDP will change those categories as well.

Offline Monique

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2017, 02:43:14 PM »
As a reader of erom, no. Erotica > romance is not the same as Romance > erotic in the same way Science fiction > romantic isn't the same as Romance > science fiction.

I don't disagree. I was purely asking about categories on Amazon. Is Romance > Erotica a category?

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Offline Emilia Winters

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2017, 02:48:14 PM »
I don't disagree. I was purely asking about categories on Amazon. Is Romance > Erotica a category?

Yep, that is a category.  Problem is, they have me in Erotica, not Romance > Erotica.

Offline Monique

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2017, 02:49:28 PM »
How do I get to Romance > Erotica? I must be blind. I thought it was only available the other way around.

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Offline Emilia Winters

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2017, 02:58:46 PM »
I can find it from the charts.  If you go to bestselling romance, erotica is listed under the categories: https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Books-Romance/zgbs/books/23

I can't remember if on the book details, it's somewhere different or if you have to get it through keywords.

Offline Monique

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2017, 03:02:46 PM »
Ah, so it's there for book but not for ebooks (front-facing store-wise, I mean.) Odd.

Thanks.

I wish I knew what to tell you to help fix your problem. Amazon is so mercurial these days. You never know if asking for a fix might just get the other books moved. :(

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Offline Emilia Winters

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2017, 03:08:49 PM »
Ah, so it's there for book but not for ebooks (front-facing store-wise, I mean.) Odd.

Thanks.

I wish I knew what to tell you to help fix your problem. Amazon is so mercurial these days. You never know if asking for a fix might just get the other books moved. :(

Thanks!  I'll just keep pestering them.  ;)  I won't let this slide because of my decrease in visibility/sales.  Fingers crossed!

Online Lynn Is A Pseudonym

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2017, 04:19:34 PM »
I have a book that is absolutely not erotica (the cover doesn't even have people on it, fgs!) but someone used the word "erotica" in a review and suddenly I started seeing the book ranking in erotica categories. After that, several more reviews mentioned how meaty the book was for erotica (LOL). I'm not sure how it all happened, to be honest, because I don't watch my categories or ranks very often. However, I'm sure the book is still linked up to an erotica category somehow, because every time I release a new book in the series, this one (book one of the series) starts ranking in those categories again.

But it's my bestselling book of all time so I don't think it's hurt anything. It's been this way for years.

I don't know if maybe something like that got you into an erotica category?

Offline Rinelle Grey

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2017, 06:10:27 PM »
If its electric, Ill bet its your cover. He looks like he has no pants on. If I look really close, I can see his jeans, but Amazon isnt going to look that close. Cover up his bottom half and theyll probably take you out if you ask nicely.

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Offline MClayton

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2017, 06:23:35 PM »
You probably already know this, but there are certain categories that require specific keywords to get them in the right sub-genre. These are the keywords science fiction/fantasy has to have: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201216150

And these are the keywords romance has to have:  https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201216130

If you don't have the right keywords for the categories you've selected, the book can end up in really weird places.

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2017, 06:26:26 PM »
If its electric, Ill bet its your cover. He looks like he has no pants on. If I look really close, I can see his jeans, but Amazon isnt going to look that close. Cover up his bottom half and theyll probably take you out if you ask nicely.

She said it was a pen name and sci-fi romance so that's probably not it. :)

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2017, 07:01:29 PM »
I'm sorry, OP. Amazon has one of my books in the inspirational category and I've emailed 3 times and 3 times they've said that they would fix it and they haven't. I've almost given up it's so annoying to deal with. Hopefully they fix it for you.

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Offline Emilia Winters

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2017, 12:00:22 AM »
You probably already know this, but there are certain categories that require specific keywords to get them in the right sub-genre. These are the keywords science fiction/fantasy has to have: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201216150

And these are the keywords romance has to have:  https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201216130

If you don't have the right keywords for the categories you've selected, the book can end up in really weird places.

Yeah, I have all the correct keywords.  The weird thing is that my book has been in the right category since its publication in February with no problems.  I've price-pulsed a couple times with no problem for promos, but this last time, they also changed my category randomly.  I'm not sure if I should change up my keywords a bit, but I also don't want to mess anything up if KDP does decide to change my category back as it's updating.

Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2017, 05:10:42 AM »
Quote
fated mates

I was struck by this as well. Amazon gets funky about stuff around this time of year, since they don't want their sweet customers finding "dirty" stuff when they're looking for a gift for Grandma (though she might like it, but not the point). Anytime you change anything, you risk getting a reviewer who is more prudish, less cognizant of the TOS, or just plain stupid.

If there's any issue with cover, blurb or content, even keywords, Amazon can zap you like a bug. And they often don't get why they were wrong -- meanwhile, the same people game their way to All Star bonuses! Remember to always reply to an email, rather than sending new ones, as this will only end up getting you a different CS rep and you start all over explaining.

Also, from what I've read over the years, choosing the Romance-->Erotica category only results in getting into the Erotica cat. Don't choose that one, ever.
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Offline HopelessFanatic

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Re: KDP switched my book's categories and won't change them back
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2017, 09:04:51 AM »
Keep emailing. You can try calling as well, though I didn't get anywhere by calling. Eventually, (and I mean eventually) they'll get it right.

I had a book on preorder. The title was Whips, Chains, and Brimstone. It was non-sexy UF (with a typical UF cover) that, you know, was about demons and torture. (Thus the title). They put it in erotica 3 days before it was to be released. Sent the same form letter about seven times stating it contained sexual content. It didn't. They never told me it was the title, but there was nothing else it could be. It wasn't even in Romance categories (since it wasn't one).

Took forever (about a week), and many, many days of panic. But eventually they responded and put it back into the right categories. All it takes is one person to flag it upon review. The harder part is to get a real person to actually look at the book. So don't give up.